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Novice Doctors’ Experience in Pronouncing Death

장은석 1 Yoo, Sang Ho 2

1공군 항공우주의료원 건강관리검진센터
2한양대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Doctors routinely deal with death, but their experience and impressions toward death are not well known. Examination into how doctors perceive death has been limited mainly due to complications in research methods. The purpose of this study is to assess doctors’ experience regarding death qualitatively by examining their first death pronouncement and to deduce their perceptions and awareness toward death related issues. Eleven first-year and second-year residents from a university hospital in Korea participated in in-depth interviews. Their comments were recorded, documented, and analyzed using grounded theory. Three major categories were identified: participants’ impressions when pronouncing death, participants’ views of their role in pronouncing death, and participants’ views on the need for education/training in pronouncing death. The first category was further divided into personal and professional impressions. The second category illustrated a doctor’s role in pronouncing death (i.e., defining death and a doctor’s role during bereavement). All participants expressed the need to be taught how to pronounce death and asked for further training in communicating with family members of the deceased. Participants shared negative feelings regarding their experiences in pronouncing death due to a lack of education in dealing with the death of a patient. It is essential for novice doctors to clearly understand their roles in pronouncing the death of a patient, a goal that may be achieved through education programs.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.